Reviews for Before the Stardust
Guest chapter 1 . 9/28/2018
Alright, it's the person who rambles a lot and leaves anonymous reviews-
I've been meaning to go through the story and comment what I think about each chapter before the book is taken down because I know you've been looking for feedback.
So, chapter one-
I like how "people in positions of power being assholes just because they can" is introduced early on with the counter guy. That kind of leads in to the overall corruption that makes the main conflict of the book.

The overall introduction of the cast is good, does well at putting their dynamic in. I really just love the dynamic of this cast in general. They're great, it's funny to read their interactions!

The introduction of the hyperdrive and the current state the world is in, not being able to make rules fast enough... that's interesting. The initial invention of the hyperdrive would've been a crazy time for humanity.

"He will do that in the artificially induced morning, before they will start on a new assessment."
I feel like that should be "He would do that in the artificially induced morning, before they would start on a new assessment." But I'm not entirely sure.

"Sometimes she wondered what is really going on inside his head."
I think that should be "what was" but I don't really know why. English is my first language, so I don't know how its grammar works, I just know that every now and then there is a sentence that doesn't quite feel right.

One of the other things I really like about this story is how the world has changed, socially. Singular "they" is now the common thing, they have gender neutral bathrooms... but it isn't paradise or anything. People are still corrupt. Rob is sort of behind the times compared to everyone else, I enjoy reading how he learns throughout the story.

It's cool how they use the pattern of stars that the "alien" sees to pinpoint its location, and how Eli's past special interest is so useful to the situation. I wish my special interests were as useful, haha!

The introduction of Marlow... I like how he is a villain but there are far worse bad guys out there, and in the end he isn't really a priority at all.

"Far away in the dust clouds of Antares-3, the lonely beacon whispered it's last 'anyone out there?' to the vast emptiness of space. But no one returned its call."
I really like this ending to the chapter. Good imagery!
rosasofiamessina chapter 5 . 8/26/2018
the dialogue is super pleasant to read and the plot and characters are amazing! five stars
Guest chapter 1 . 8/24/2018
im in love. i literally had to take my comfort plushie i love this
Guest chapter 15 . 8/20/2018
This is a really good story. It took a while to get into, but it's good to see representation done well, by someone on the inside. The plot is compelling and the resolution feels right. Character development too.
The writing in the early chapters could use some polish but once I got into the story it worked well, it just took some time to settle in.
If I saw this book on the shelves I'd definitelh consider buying it.
marysuetastic chapter 5 . 7/20/2018
I just wanted to say this for a few chapters now and forgot every time: I love the flexible/shape-adjustable tablets, they’re so useful and convenient, I want such a thing for myself!

I’m wondering what happened with Marlow’s side of the story, did they take the grant, what did they do else - I sense some really shady aura around this guy.

️,
K.
marysuetastic chapter 4 . 7/20/2018
Yay, Rob is gay! Exactly what Icwas hoping for, you’re making my dreams come true.
I think I’ve picked up some hints of a crush on Eli but I’m not sure about it.

And type one planet, that’s great! I hope it all works out for those precious cinnamon rolls

I like your story very much so far,
K.
marysuetastic chapter 3 . 7/19/2018
It’s a little unsettling to me, that we’ve got more details about the looks of someone who appears to be a minor supporting character (Ash) than the main protagonist.

But damn this chapter was so awesome! I’ve felt that tension and time pressure with the office job and I feel like I’m starting to fall in love with this story.

I see a sleepless night ahead of me,
K.
marysuetastic chapter 2 . 7/19/2018
More character details! I’ve said earlier that my natural way of imagining characters was the way I look, but it was a good feeling to learn Rose and Jemini are black. It’s very quick to change how I see them. I can’t wait for even more details about the characters and I’d like to fan art them when I know how they look.
Also, Sally joined my favourite characters! I kinda imagine her with long red hair in something like a braid but let’s see how she really is.
And don’t even get me started on Jemini’s two mums! ️
And I fucking knew Rose would be a pain in the ass.

The universe looks really well built and I’m enjoying the story. I can’t wait for more of that corrupt government plot line - wherever there’s a government to overthrow, a revolution to be made or a riot to be started, count me the fuck in! But their discovery wasn’t exactly surprising - what government isn’t corrupt?

On the technical side, I think it would need some minor editing. I hate pointing out grammar and punctuation errors to people because I feel like it sounds mean and I don’t want to be mean.
I’ve spotted only one misplaced comma that was disturbing to me (the “thirty years old” sentence, I think it should come after “old” instead) and reading the dialogue needed a little getting used to but it may be as well just a difference between our countries’ rules so I don’t know

Have a good day,
K.
marysuetastic chapter 1 . 7/19/2018
It’s a little hard to imagine because of how little descriptions there are, so I’m trying to work with my imagination. So far I’m having the face slots open and Eli somehow has blue hair... Dark, as specified in the story, but still blue.
And also, quite obviously, I saw them white. Same thing Rose scolded Rob for. I think it’s quite natural to assume that characters look like the reader unless specified otherwise (hence Eli’s blue hair, I have a dark blue myself) - especially if someone, like me, had seen one black person in real life until the age of 18. But I also think it’s subject to change as someone’s racial sensitivity progresses (mine’s still developing) and/or they don’t live in an all-white area. Though I’m pretty sure 22nd century wouldn’t have much of those places.
I didn’t like Rose, she’s so judgy of Rob and a thought police with that “Oh you do that and that? I bet you’re a jerk also in this area.” And she just so out of nowhere gives out very intimate details of someone else’s life. Behind their back. Seems like the girls I’ve met in my primary school, when I though I’m friends with one of them and I told her something about my crush, but then she babbled it our to her mean best friend who yelled it for all class to hear. Well, Rose at least did that in private.
On the other hand, I see quite a potential for Rob’s character and Jemini seems very sweet too.
The story starts nicely, and I was so excited for finding aliens in the first chapter! But, well, what would they be doing for the rest of the story in they’ve found them now? And I’m so sad for that robot, it was a good prank!
In general, I like it and now I’m going to read the rest.
K.
TichePotato chapter 15 . 7/3/2018
I don't really know what to say in response to that, but thank you.
Guest chapter 14 . 7/3/2018
aaah, it's out! I'll put a more detailed review later, once I've read through the previous chapters and given myself a bit of a recap, but for now I'm so happy that I've followed this story all the way to the end. I've enjoyed it so much!
Guest chapter 13 . 5/8/2018
I really enjoyed reading this chapter- the interactions between Eli and his mother and Rob as they recover from what happened and try to put their lives back together is wonderful. I love Eli's mum. She's great. :)

the line about "they took everything except for my boyfriend, my dog and the majority of my possessions" made me laugh.

I like what you did with Godzilla- as heartbreaking as it is, the expansion on Rob's past in this chapter is great. The way it goes from close up on Rob's experience, looking at the guinea pig in his pocket, to distant reflecting on what he'd done... I don't really know the word for the technique, but it had a strong impact when I was reading it.

I also really like Avery- not sure that we'll see them again, though. and now I'm having second thoughts- what if we can't trust them? What if they work for the Empire? The more I think about that the less sense it makes, but... I don't know who I can trust at this point!

"can you cry maple syrup" also made me laugh in the middle of that pretty tense scene. I love Rob, he's so good. I enjoyed the scene with Danny too, that Rob would turn down that offer even in the situation he's currently in, where other people would've probably been tempted.

I do miss the others, I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them.
The other day I went to a space-themed presentation- they were talking about exobiology, and how interesting it would be to find alien life, and I immediately thought of Rose. :)

I also really like the description of happiness as "the spark of cinnamon". Before the Stardust is just full of those little gems of imagery that stick in my mind afterwards.
Eclectic chapter 12 . 4/11/2018
Wow. I thought for sure they were going to pull it off. I definitely didn't expect that. I can't wait for the next chapter to see what happens next.
Guest chapter 11 . 1/12/2018
I'm guessing that reviews aren't supposed to be this long, and it's more a ramble about how much I like this story than a review, but...here it is! I reread this story when I was on holiday and fell in love with it all over again. :)

I can't quite decide what order my favourite characters are, I love the main cast a lot. My favourites though would probably have to be Eli and Jemini.

Jemini is cool because she loves the adventure of being on the Wanderer so much, and she's just...she's great. One of my favourites for sure!I loved the little John Carter reference with her last name, too.

Eli is a great character, I was really happy when he turned out to be a neuronarrator but also happy that it wasn't a main part of the story because it's a personal thing to him as a character, but it's cool that it's there, you know?

I don't know too much about proper autistic representation, exactly what makes it good representation or bad, but as an autistic person myself, I think Eli's representation is great. Even though I don't experience a lot of the things that he does, I really like the portrayal. I like how in the first chapter he just makes that map of stars so easily because it's a past special interest- and how in Chapter 10 Rob gives him that bird as a present as that's his current special interest. Getting gifts based on special interests is the best!

The relationship between Eli and Rob is so good, particularly how it builds throughout the story. I remember reading the 'I love you" at the end of chapter 8 and thinking oh no I've got to wait to see his reaction- but it was a very very good choice because suspense!

And in the end we didn't get to see the moment directly after that confession- was it ever written, or did you always know that you were going to skip to the end of the date afterwards?

I also really like the future you've created. It's probably a future I'd like to live in or at least to visit- even though it's not a perfect one. I like how on the surface it seems like humanity has changed for the better and has become more accepting and everything, but the problems we have now are still there under the surface, more so on Nova than anywhere else.

I like the little details that seperate Nova from the Empire planets, even down to Rob calling the bathroom the 'gentlemens room' when it's gender neutral, it's a small thing but it shows how things have kind of progressed within this universe and how Nova has sort of beeen caught at a standstill in that regard. Like, Rob being kicked out for being gay where that probably wouldn't have happened on an Empire planet.

I also love that the Martian capital is called Curiosity, and how scientists names are slipped into things, like the Hawking Planetarium and stuff. I just love that in future books. Just overall I love the worldbuilding.

I like seeing how Rob grows in understanding throughout the story and I really enjoyed the conflict with Rose in the first few chapters. As she was the one always reminding Rob to be more accepting, and then turned out to be not so accepting herself.

I loved the Earth chapter, and the phrase "watercolour memories" describing Eli's memories of Earth.

Also Eli's referencing that vine in an inappropriate situation and it being called "vintage cinematography" made me laugh. I love how the past/our present is treated in this story.

The Green Menace chapter was awesome- and it was really cool to see those notes of your design of it, too. I excitedly showed my friend in the hopes that it would encourage him to read it- I've been telling him about this story for ages.

I really like that the inventor of hyperdrive was autistic. And I like how Marlow is a recurring villain.

I also loved the closed system thing of Chapter 10.
The idea of being in a stressful probably going to die but don't know how soon situation is terrifying and not even being able to make myself one last cup of tea would make things even worse.

The line "would you die holding my hand" struck my feelings harder the second time around. That whole scene between Rob and Eli was so emotional. And then everything changes and it gets this hopeful, whimsical sort of intensity as they run around trying to find the time delay places. And when they all confess that they hate Rose's cooking. That made me laugh. I love how there can be so much contrast between the happy stuff and the sad/scary stuff but it still always feels so natural.

I always get very excited when a new chapter comes out.

It's really cool that you've made a cast list because now it's really quick to get refs if I ever want to do fanart, rather than scanning through chapters for snippets of description here and there. After seeing the cast list I actually did start to imagine what it would be like as a movie/tv show and that was really cool! I would SO watch it as a tv show.

Sally is probably the character that I'm least engaged with but I'm still interested in her character, it's just that the others interest me more. I think everyone who reads this will connect with different characters as a result of their own experiences, and I think that's really great. Chapter 11 really got me more invested in Sally, though, so that's really good!

Chapter 11 surprised me, it definitely feels like the story is getting much more serious now, with the conflict between Nova and the Empire getting worse and the planet's discovery being covered up. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story progresses from here!

I like how this story can make me laugh and cry (well almost cry, I hardly ever cry in response to books however much they make me feel) and have lots of tension too. Every chapter is a resolved story in itself, and it's going to be amazing to read the whole thing when it's finished.

So... thanks for writing such a great story! I'm looking forward to reading more and rereading what's already there!
Eclectic chapter 10 . 9/12/2017
Holy shit, this chapter was amazing! I thought for sure you were going to end it right there. I'm so glad you didn't though. I'm happy they all survived.
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